Rotorua | New Zealand

Whanau Support Group

John Paul College recognises New Zealand’s cultural diversity & the unique position of Māori.

  1. JPC has a Whanau Support group which meets twice a term.
  2. Our Whare ‘Hoani Paora’ is a centre promoting excellence in Te Reo and Tikanga Māori.
  3. Faculty Heads and Deans specifically target Māori students to ensure academic and pastoral excellence and Māori are Achieving as Māori.
  4. Māori parents are consulted on the aims and aspirations they have for their children through the Whanau Support Group, including a Māori Achievement Plan.
  5. JPC has a subcommittee of the board with a focus on Kaupapa Māori and Pasifika.
  6. JPC will implement the Bi-cultural plan that was reviewed in 2019 and will be reviewed annually through the Whanau Support Group.

Miha Māori Practice

It was great to see the Miha Māori Community supporting our rangatahi learn theChurch Mass in Māori. We also had the pleasure of Father Prakash joining us with our practice.

Matariki Guest Speaker

Guest speaker Jade Kameta sharing his knowledge about Matariki with our students.
Photo: Māori Captain Steen Christensen with Jade Kameta

Kapa Haka trip to Tamaki Tours Village

JPC Junior Kapa Haka Roopu visited the Tamaki Tours Village for a little inspiration and team bonding before they took the stage for Te Ahurei Kapa Haka. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the experience.

Te Ahurei Kapa Haka

The Te Ahurei Kapa Haka was a huge success! Congratulations to our JPC Junior Kapa Haka Roopu who really stepped it up in their performance and showcased their skills and passion for Kapa Haka.
It was truley heart warming to see the students on stage. A huge thank you to the Kapa Haka Team – Whaea Vanessa, Whaea Georgia, Matua Wiriana and Whaea Mercia for the hardwork and dedication they put into preparing students for their performance.


Students attended Matariki Celebrations (Maori New Year) held at Te Puia.  Students participated in a unique learning experience, including a welcome, shared stories from a guest speaker, cooking sweet corn and eggs using the natural cooking pool, weaving and Maori past time games. Students viewed live demonstrations of Ta Moko and learnt about the designs and techniques from the artists and also viewed the Art Gallery. The day finished with a Kapa Haka concert and sausage sizzle all for free.

Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech Competition 2019

Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech Competition honors the special and unique existence of being Māori and of sustaining our connections to the Māori world. The speech contests are intended to encourage the development of skills and confidence of Māori students in English and Māori. On Wednesday 5th May, the Manu Korero was held at Tangatarua Marae at the Toi Ohomai Institute Rotorua. John Paul College had two students who participated in the competition, Sophie Healey Year 9 and Phoenix Winiata Hill Year 11. The students displayed outstanding confidence in expressing their views and they had the support of their peers and family who performed waiata and haka after their speeches. 

Te Wānanga Mau Taiaha o Mokoia

During the term 2 holidays Steen Christensen Year 12, Hemi Smith Year 10, Reitia Hapi Year 9, Te Awe Parkinson Year 9 and Jacob Rapana Year 9 were given the opportunity to attend a Taiaha course on Mokoia Island. The particular style of taiaha and its focus highlighted the male role as guardian, protector mediator and productive community member while positively role modelling appropriate behaviors for men. The students spent 4 nights and 5 days on Mokoia Island. On the last day they had a Whanau day, where family and friends were invited over to the Island for the students to showcase their taiaha skills and celebrate with a hakari (meal).  The boys learnt many skills such as independence,  good safety habits, self-discipline and whanaungatanga – which is relationship building through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. The students are also able to pass on their Taiaha skills to help support the Junior Kapa Haka boys this year.  

Pukaki 2019

Cody Jenkins was among the 6 students from Rotorua High Schools to be awarded with the Pukaki Educational Award. They were given the opportunity to fly down to Wellington to tour Government House and have morning tea with the Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy and learn about the role of the Governor-General and the importance of Government House. The group then visited Te Papa and viewed the Maori collections, they then headed to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for a tour and lunch with Governor Adrian Orr and Steve Gordon. Lastly the group visited Parliament and had an audience with Mr Tamati Coffey and got a debrief on how Parliament works. The award allowed the students to broaden their options and consider other career opportunities.

Waka Ama 2019

A successful season of Waka Ama! We had 22 JPC Waka Ama paddlers who competed at the National Secondary School Champships at lake Lake Tikitapu in term one.  We had some great results with Makayla Timoti winning gold in W1 singles, making her the top under 19 female secondary school paddler in the country. We also had 2 under 16 W1 finalists (Adrianna  Gesztey and Marewa Hudson) and both the boys under 16 crew and the girls under 19 crew made 250m and 500m finals with the girls coming 9th in the top division 250m final only 0.19 seconds behind Rotorua Girls High.  With 123 schools and over 1950 paddlers competing that is a fantastic effort to be 9th fastest in the country given the crew had 2 non club paddlers and 2 under 16 paddlers. What is really pleasing as well is that we have a good base of juniors coming through as well to replace our senior girls like Makayla, Hannah Hope, Maia Berryman-Kamp and Claudia Lepa who have paddled every year for their school since 2015.

A huge “Thanks” to Hei Matau Paddlers for coaching the crews, Annalee and Frank Timoti for assisting with coaching, running the base at the nationals and organising breakfasts, Michele Hudson for being our volunteer at the event and Whaea Mercia as Teacher in charge.

Another great campaign this year, Waka Ama is now an established sport at JPC and our schools efforts are recognised locally and nationally. Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui, Na Eugene Berryman-Kamp – manager

He Pātaka Pūrākau April 2019
I attended the launch of the new website Te Arawa Stories Digital Storehouse – He Pātaka Pūrākau on the 28th March. The aim of the digital resource is to inspire and stimulate learners to discover more about the world of Te Arawa. A great resource to use for all age groups and am looking forward to implementing it into the year 7-10 classes.
Whaea Mercia Tawera-Thomas

Rangiāōwhia Commemoration

On Thursday 21st February, Whaea Mercia took six senior students and travelled to Te Awamutu for the Rangiāōwhia Commemoration. There was a Powhiri and karakia to welcome the schools who attended. Staff and students listened to the significant, historical event that took place in New Zealand, the story of Rangiāōwhia shared by Moepatu Borrell.  Students learned about what happened to the people of Rangiāōwhia, understanding the Te Riti o Waitangi and how promises were breeched and their ongoing fight for justice. Staff and students visited the site of the invasion, the historic St Pauls Anglican Church and the Catholic mission site. Students reflected on Why it happened? Where did the people go? What happened next? Why did the Crown fail to protect Māori land? and what might the government do now? It was a successful turnout with a growing number of schools attending and demonstrating a desire to understand and acknowledge what happened and how the iwi are moving forward positively.

45 students from years 9-13 attended the Poly Fest on Thursday 14th March in Auckland with Mr Peter’s, Mrs Hewitson and Whaea Mercia. The group departed at 5am and returned home by 6pm. The students enjoyed the entertainment from a variety of cultures  showcasing their skills in cultural performances and speeches. Students were able to move between the six stages that was spaciously set up. There was also a wide range of food and gift stalls for students to explore. The trip was a success and an enjoyable cultural experience.

Year 9 Students  Maori lesson:  Cooking Kamokamo Parehe (Kamokamo Pizza)Term 1 Students have been busy learning the “Our Father” prayer in Maori, Pepeha, Whakapapa, Rakau game (stick game) and are absorbed in the learning of new words, verbs and nouns. They especially enjoy the learning when the focus is on kai!! Students have been practicing their new words through cooking activities.

Year 10 Students  Maori lessons:  Cooking Kamokamo Parehe (Kamokamo Pizza)
Term 1 Students have been busy learning the “Our Father” prayer in Maori, Pepeha, Whakapapa, Rakau game (stick game) and are absorbed in the learning of new words, verbs and nouns. They especially enjoy the learning when the focus is on kai!! 
Students have been practicing their new words through cooking activities.